La Catrina: Tribute to Jose Posada


June 14, 2014–August 31, 2014

The American Museum of Ceramic Art is proud to present, La Catrina, a colorful, interactive exhibition featuring incredibly intricate, low-fire ceramic Catrina figures representing some of the most familiar, legendary, and influential figures in Latino culture.

The exhibition tells the story of La Catrina, a dapper female skeleton, as it was created by printmaker Jose Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913) and made popular by Diego Rivera. Posada’s familiar legacy is honored here again for not only being the foundation of Mexican Art, but also for his continued influence in contemporary art around the world.

As the “printer to the Mexican people,” Posada consciously created for the everyday life of many; his artwork was accessible to all and addressed the issues of a troubled society at the brink of a revolution. His genius illustrations of the people were perpetuated as an outlet for protests and eventually became a testament to the Mexican peoples’ shared humanity—the crossroads of life and death.

Posada’s ubiquitous animated skeletons, known as Calaveras, are the most imaginative and celebrated facet of his production. Used in Day of the Dead celebrations, these skeletons miming every conceivable activity in human existence epitomize the mockery of death and the sense of physical decay and destruction that reduces every corpse. Death makes a fool of all of us, regardless of socio-economic status, and places all humans at an equal level. Posada’s work is a constant reminder of the sense of urgency that death may call anyone at any moment. Nothing is eternal—except maybe Posada’s work. His universal creations bring him to life even today, 101 years after his death.

Rody Lopez
Associate Curator